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Home > Tourism Victoria Blog > Why Victoria is the Best Place in Canada for a Winter Vacation

Why Victoria is the Best Place in Canada for a Winter Vacation

Posted on October 15, 2020

Greater Victoria is home to rich heritage, a historic downtown, beautiful natural environment, scenic Inner Harbour and compelling landscapes. We invite you to intimately experience the city this winter and discover first-hand why it's the best place in Canada for a winter vacation.


Enviable Environment 

Located in a sub-Mediterranean zone, Victoria enjoys the mildest climate in Canada and boasts an annual average of nearly 2,200 hours of sunshine and a frost-free season of eight months. With flowers blooming as early as January, the excellent growing climate makes Victoria known internationally as the City of Gardens and allows farming to flourish, in turn creating a vibrant farm-to-table food scene. Nearby coastal rainforests allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings and take part in abundant outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, cycling, kayaking, cold-water diving, fishing, picnicking and even zip-lining above treetops. 

Image by Matt Shannon Photography


History & Cultural Charm 

Victoria is filled with history and charm, which is further enhanced during the holiday season. Experience Victoria's historic buildings, avenues, alleys and squares, illuminated to create an enchanting ambience. Visit Trounce Alley, home to boutiques, restaurants and authentic gaslights that are over 125 years old. Be sure to stop by the Parliament Buildings after dusk to take in the brilliant sight of 3,300 energy-efficient bulbs lighting each peak. Dive deeper and discover British Columbia's history and culture as you immerse yourself in the Royal BC Museum's inspiring, interactive and informative exhibits or stroll through Canada's Oldest Chinatown and peer into the past. Victoria's rich history is on display in downtown alleys, squares and important landmarks. These well-preserved gems add a unique and distinguished sense of enchantment to Victoria's modern and vibrant character. 

Victoria’s British roots will steep through as you take part in the rich afternoon tea culture. Indulge in this local tradition and immerse yourself in the city's unique charm.  

Image by @betterwithadventure of Trounce Alley


Indigenous Peoples heritage and legacies live on in Victoria and Vancouver Island through ceremonies, potlatches, dances, art and masks. An Indigenous experience is an enriching and engaging addition to any Victoria visit. Find more here. 

Image by @royalbcmuseum of Thunderbird Park


Soak up Wellness 

Many locals consider a spa visit to be basic self-care. Greater Victoria is home to numerous spas and salons—many of which indulge the senses by incorporating Island elements like local seaweed and botanicals in their treatments. Our nearby coastal rainforests allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings. Let the gentle forest sounds wash over you as you bathe in the sights and sounds of Greater Victoria’s lush green spaces. 

Image by Mike Pepperdine at Oak Bay Beach Hotel


Capital Cuisine 

With one of Canada's longest growing seasons and coastal influence, fresh ingredients are guaranteed. Greater Victoria’s proximity to the Saanich Peninsula offers local restaurants the opportunity to embrace a local-first mentality. Sourcing from Island makers, bakers, growers, harvesters and foragers ensures the freshest flavour. The proximity to the Pacific means ocean fare – particularly salmon and shellfish – can be caught and harvested fresh and is a mainstay of West Coast cuisine.  

Just 20-minutes from downtown Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula offers abundant fare such as fresh ingredients, award-winning wines, spectacular vineyard and orchard views and perfect pairings. The Flavour Trails are a feast for your senses and offer the opportunity to celebrate local flavours. 

Image by Matt Shannon Photography


Greater Victoria is B.C.'s Craft Beer Capital and home to Canada's first brewpub, Swans. The variety of unique producers are famous for locally made beers, ciders, wines and spirits, with flavours often inspired by the local harvest. The #ExploreBC beer is even brewed downtown Victoria at Vancouver Island Brewing.  

Image by @bcaletrail


High-Standard Hospitality 

Voted 20 Best Places to Visit in 2020: Vancouver Island by CNN Travel List and the Number 8 Best Small Cities in the World: 2020 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Award, Greater Victoria's professional hospitality providers have elevated their already exacting standards and rigorous protocols to create new norms and behaviours to address the unique challenges presented by the current pandemic environment. With over 6,000 rooms and dozens of hotels around the region, it's easy to find your perfect accommodation. If you're looking to settle in for a little longer, extended stay options are available too. There are direct flights from major Canadian cities and stringent measures in terminals and aboard all transportation partners, to ensure your safety. Here's what you need to know before you go. 

Image by @wisteria_voyage


From wandering through world-class gardens, finding bliss during a West Coast spa treatment, nourishing yourself with local fare, exploring the coast and soaking in the history and charm, Greater Victoria offers diverse and abundant activities to take part in this winter. Book your winter visit to Victoria here.